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Soak the wood chips for 20 minutes and drain. Fire up the grill for indirect heat and add the wood. Fill a large aluminum foil pan with 1/8 inch water. Carefully remove the grill grate, place the pan next to the coals (or the heat source for gas grills), and replace the grate.
Coat the ribs on both sides with ¼ cup of the rib rub. Place the ribs opposite the fire, over the water pan. Cover and cook at 250 degrees for 2 hours.
Remove the ribs and place each rack on a large sheet of foil. Add 2 tablespoons of the pineapple juice to each rack, wrap them tightly, and return them to the grill. Continue to cook the ribs until the meat begins to loosen from the bone, 45-60 minutes.
Remove the ribs from the foil and return them to the grill, seasoning them lightly with more rub. Cook the ribs for 20 more minutes, and then brush barbecue sauce on both sides. Keep cooking the meat until it tears easily between the bones and the rack bends when you hold it in the middle with tongs, 25-40 more minutes.
Winning Baby Backs for Your Backyard BashBy Steven Raichlen
If ribs epitomize barbecue for most Americans, the baby back epitomizes ribs.
Cut from high on the hog, just next to the spine, baby backs have tender meat—more so than spareribs—abundant fat, and a convenient shape and size that makes one rack perfect for feeding two people if side dishes are served. (A rack contains 8 ribs at a minimum and 13 at a maximum.)
You’ve heard the phrase “fall-off-the-bone tender.” Never, in my opinion, have five words done more harm to the notion of what constitutes good eating. Show me ribs that are “fall-off-the-bone tender,” and I’ll show you ribs that are overcooked with a soft, mushy texture and diminished flavor. Competition pit masters, such as those worthy of Memphis in May or the upcoming American Royal in Kansas City, know they’ll never “walk” (aka place in the contest and walk for a ribbon or trophy) with shreddy ribs. Instead, they aim for ribs with a bit of chew, ribs that retain bite marks without being tough. (And this is what trained barbecue judges look for, too.)
Just in time for the weekend, here are tips for righteous ribs and three of my favorite recipes for baby backs. (And none require much labor. Just a bit of patience.)
If possible, buy ribs from heritage breeds, preferably from local farms that raise their animals humanely. Where your meat comes from is as important as how you cook it. Buy racks that have 8 or more ribs (butcher’s call smaller racks “cheaters”).
Remove the membrane
Place the ribs on a rimmed baking sheet or in a hotel pan to contain any mess.
Ribs have a papery membrane (the pleura) on the concave side of the rack. I like to remove it not only for aesthetic reasons, but because it impedes the absorption of smoke and spices. This is easily done with a butter knife or similar implement. Slide the blade under the membrane—I like to start near the middle bones—and lift up to pry it away from the bones. Then grab it with a clean dishtowel or paper towel and gently pull it off the ribs. Note: Sometimes, packaged baby backs have already had the pleura removed. (Do not remove the connective tissue that holds the ribs together.)
Add layers of flavor
If desired, slather the ribs on both sides with your favorite mustard (many people use common yellow mustard I prefer Dijon). Then apply your favorite rub. Alternatively, generously apply the rub directly to the raw meat. If you are preparing several racks, I recommend a rib rack which can multiply your grate space by a factor of four.
Grill ’em up
Ribs can be barbecued one of several ways, and because of their intrinsic tenderness, baby backs can be adapted to any of them. They can be smoked low and slow at temperatures between 225 and 250 degrees indirect grilled at higher temperatures, 275 to 325 degrees or rotisseried. In Planet Barbecue you’ll even find recipes from Asian for ribs that have been direct grilled—or gasp!—boiled first, then grilled. (Small grills engineered for food efficiency are common there, which gave rise to different strategies than the ones Americans usually employ.)
Maintain a moist environment
Place a heatproof bowl of hot water in your grill before you cook the ribs. Or prepare a mop sauce—a thin, flavorful liquid—before grilling. Use a mixture of apple cider and vinegar, broth, beer, melted butter, or even coffee. (For recipes, see Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades.)
Add wood smoke
Ideally, you’ll be working over a wood fire. But you can also add wood chunks or soaked, drained wood chips to the coals to generate flavorful smoke. (Pellet grills produce tender, smoke-kissed ribs, too.) To avoid over-smoking your ribs, add chunks or chips only for the first couple of hours.
Wrap for tender ribs
Some competition barbecuers wrap their ribs in double layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil halfway through the cook along with apple juice, honey, and pats of butter. This method produces very tender ribs, but with a kind of stewed quality.
To sauce, or not to sauce
As with brisket, it’s sometimes nice to taste the meat on its own without the distraction of a sauce. But if you prefer your ribs sauced, apply it during the last few minutes of cooking. Sizzle the ribs over direct heat, watching carefully so the sugars in the sauce don’t scorch. You can, of course, also offer sauce at the table.
The Epicurious Blog
There&aposs an old joke that&aposs told in the South: Do you know how Adam in the Garden of Eden wasn&apost Southern? Because no true Southerner would ever give up a rib. Buh-dum-dum.
It&aposs true that our national love of ribs may both transcend the South and still remain particularly sacred there. Last week I shared the barbecue champion Myron Mixon&aposs recipe for St. Louis ribs in this space.
Those are also called spareribs, and they&aposre long bones from the lower part of the hog&aposs belly behind its shoulder. They are straight and fatty, which in the world of ribs is a good thing. But Mixon&aposs personal favorite ribs are the so-called baby backs, the little ribs that come from the top of the hog&aposs rib cage between the spine and the spareribs. They are shorter, curved, and often meatier than spareribs, and they are more expensive because you get loin and tenderloin meat on them.
Of the many controversies in the world of barbecue (North Carolina style versus South Carolina style pork versus beef vinegar-based sauce versus sweet tomato-based sauce I could go on), St. Louis versus baby back exists in a big way on the professional barbecue circuit, where Mixon operates as the "winnigest man in barbecue."
It&aposs true that he&aposs made more than $1 million at barbecue contests, won more than 30 state championships, 11 national championships, and three world championships, but at heart, when he&aposs not on the road, he likes to chill out by the pool in his backyard in rural middle Georgia. And he&aposll be making baby back ribs, which are his personal choice.
"My favorite rib to cook and eat is the baby back, because I learned competitive cooking at Memphis in May contests and that&aposs their rib of choice," he explains. "I just developed a real love for them. They&aposre fun to cook and fun to eat, and they almost always earn me money. Even I can&apost ask for more than that!"
Here&aposs how to make killer baby back ribs in your own backyard, with the Mixon method. Happy Fourth!
Myron Mixon&aposs Baby Back Ribs
4 racks baby back ribs
1 recipe Rib Marinade (see below)
3 cups Jack&aposs Old South Original Rub or other favorite rub
1 recipe Rib Spritz (see below)
1 cup apple juice
1 recipe Hog Glaze (see below)
1 liter ginger ale
1 quart orange juice
1 1/4 cups soy sauce
1/2 cup salt
2 1-ounce packets dry ranch dressing mix
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Sitr well to thoroughly incorporate. Pour into a large bottle or other container and store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
3 cups apple juice
2 cups white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons liquid imitation butter
In a large spray bottle (one that will hold at least 5 cups of liquid), combine all the ingredients. Shake well to blend.
2 cups Jack&aposs Old South Vinegar Sauce or other favorite vinegar-based barbecue sauce
2 18-ounce jars apple jelly
2 cups light corn syrup
Combine all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until thoroughly combined, about 3 minutes. Pour into a clean bowl, using a plastic spatula to scrape it all. Store, refrigerated, for up to 2 weeks.
Sharp boning knife or paring knife
Paper towels or clean kitchen towels
One at a time, place the racks on a cutting board, bone side up, and remove the membrane (or "silver"): At whichever end of the rack seems easier, work your fingers underneath the membrane until you have 2 to 3 inches cleared. Grab the membrane with a towel and gently but firmly pull it away from the ribs. Pulling off the membrane exposes loose fat that will need trimming so take your paring knife and cut out any excess fat. Now the racks are ready.
Set the racks in an aluminum baking pan and cover them completely with the Rib Marinade. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and let it sit for 4 hours, either in the refrigerator or, if you&aposre in a picnic situation, in a cooler packed with ice.
When you are ready to cook them, remove the ribs from the marinade. Pat them dry with towels. Apply the rub lightly around the edges of the ribs, over the back side of them, and on top. Then let the ribs sit, uncovered, at room temperature for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, heat a smoker to 250 degrees.
Put the ribs in a baking pan, put it in the smoker, and cook for 2 hours. After first 30 minutes of cooking, spritz the ribs. Continue to spritz at 15-minute intervals for the duration of the cooking time. (The ribs should be uncovered so they can absorb as much smoke as possible.)
Remove the pan from the smoker.Pour the apple juice into a clean aluminum baking pan. Place the ribs in the pan, bone side down, and cover the pan with aluminum foil. Place the pan in the smoker and cook for 1 hour.
Remove the pan from the smoker and shut off the heat on the smoker. Remove the foil, and apply the glaze to the top and bottom of the slabs of ribs. Re-cover the pan with foil, return it to the smoker, and let the ribs rest in the smoker for 30 minutes as the temperature gradually decreases.
Remove the ribs from the pan and let them rest for 10 minutes on a wooden cutting board. Then cut and serve.
How to Prep Baby Back Ribs
Eugene Mymrin/Getty Images
Making baby back ribs can be an all-day affair, so make sure to read your recipe closely before diving in. Decide what tasks need to be done ahead of time, and what can be saved until the day of your cookout or meal. (Trust us—tough ribs and hungry dinner guests is a pretty terrible combo.) Below, find a breakdown of tasks and ingredients you might want to prepare before you start cooking your baby back ribs.
Removing the Membrane
A well-butchered rack of baby back ribs is relatively clean of excess fat𠅋ut you’ll want to remove the thin membrane found on the underside before cooking. While the membrane is perfectly edible, removing it will make your ribs more tender and allow them to better absorb a rub or sauce. However, peeling off the membrane can be a bit tricky𠅊nd a bit of a pain to be honest. The easiest way to do this is to use a sharp knife to carefully loosen the membrane away from the meat, then pull it away from the bones. The membrane should peel right off, but if you’re having trouble, try gripping it with a paper towel. You can also ask the butcher to take care of this task when you purchase the ribs.
Baby Back Rib Rub
A dry rub is great for larger pieces of meat like baby back ribs𠅊nd also brisket, steaks, and pork shoulder. For most cooking methods, dry rubbing the ribs beforehand can give them a big flavor boost. The ingredients in a baby back rib are typically a mix of sugar, salt, spices, and sometimes dried herbs. (Try this basic dry recipe from Southern Living: Smoky Dry Rub.)
Making a baby back rib rub is easy, but make sure you budget enough time for the flavors to fully infuse. Many recipes will call for dry rubbing the ribs the night before. When applying the dry rub, press the mixture into all the nooks and crannies along the ribs𠅊nd don’t be afraid to use a little muscle to really work it in.
BBQ Sauce for Ribs
In addition to a dry rub, a tangy barbecue sauce adds balance to the rich, hearty flavor of pork. While using store-bought barbecue sauce is speedy and convenient, homemade barbecue sauce is much easier to make than you𠆝 probably realize. You can make it ahead of time, or knock it out while your ribs cook. Many of the classic ingredients may even be in your kitchen already—like apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, ketchup, and Worcestershire sauce.
How To Cook Perfect Baby Back Ribs in the Smoker
For a showstopping main course, there's nothing like a smoky, juicy rack of pork ribs.
And for barbecue expert Tim Love—who thinks anyone can learn how to cook baby back ribs that have the ultimate combination of a crispy crust and succulent meat—there's nothing better when the whether heats up. "Ribs are awesome for a backyard barbecue because they smell and taste like summer," he says.
Here, the guru of Q shares his rules for how to smoke perfect pork ribs, including the best temperature, cooking time, and best practices. And then shares his favorite foolproof recipe.
Don't forget to remove the underbelly membrane. "You need to do this before anything else," says Love. "If you don't remove it, the smoke won't penetrate the meat properly on the bottom side of the ribs. Also, the membrane will get caught in your teeth."
Use rub, not sauce. "My ribs don't see any sauce! All you need is a good, savory rub with plenty of flavor. If you want your rub to be sweet, use granulated white sugar. It caramelizes better than brown sugar and produces a great crust."
Shut the smoker and do NOT open it until time is up. "Calculate how long the ribs should take before you place your ribs on the rack. The average baby back ribs should take about three hours and 15 minutes. Your ribs will be exponentially better if you maintain the internal temperature at an even 225ºF and you keep the door closed at all times."
Never boil ribs. Ever. "We are making ribs, not corned beef. Boiling the ribs would make them tender but dry. Simmering the ribs would make them juicy and tender, but wouldn't give them that delicious smoky flavor."
If you're short on time, use an oven bag. "There is no 'quick' way to make ribs properly. If you have to, season the heck out of them, put them in an oven bag, and then bake them. They will be ready in less than an hour and super flavorful."
If you need sauce with your ribs, start over. "Sauce is great but should not be required!"
Tim Love's Baby Back Ribs
Tim Love is co-host of CNBC's Restaurant Startup and the chef/owner of Lonesome Dove, Queenie's Steakhouse, Woodshed Smokehouse, Love Shack, and White Elephant Saloon in Texas.
Unlike other cuts of meat that require moderate-to-intense trimming and prep before they are seasoned and cooked, your baby back ribs will likely come from grocery or butcher shop already in pretty good condition. That being said, there is one detail you shouldn’t overlook before you cook – the membrane.
After removing your ribs from their packaging and giving them a quick rinse and pat dry, flip them over so you’re looking at the underside of the ribs. You’ll see a shiny, translucent-white layer of tissue that covers the majority of this side of the ribs. It’s important to remove this membrane if you can, as it won’t break down and become as tender as the rest of the meat during the cook and could result in some less-than-ideal bites.
Using a sharp knife, start at one of the corners and begin to separate the membrane from the meat underneath it. Once you have a decent-sized flap pulled away, use a paper towel to grip the membrane (it’s pretty slick) and peel the entire layer back from the rack of ribs. Generally, it’s not too difficult to get the whole membrane in one pull.
Phase 2 is all about really cooking the ribs and breaking down connective tissue to achieve fall-off-the-bone status. After 3 hours of smoke, remove the ribs from your smoker and using a large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil wrap them up in individual pouches. The easiest technique I’ve found is to lay the rack in the center of the strip of foil, long ways. Fold up each long edge to connect with each other over the top of the ribs, and then crimp them together to form a foil tube of sorts.
Next, fold up one end of the pouch but leave the other open. Pour about a third cup of apple juice into the open end, and then also fold it up to completely seal the pouch.
Note, that folks often take this opportunity to layer in additional flavor before the pouch is sealed up. Again, feel free to experiment here but I’ve been partial to crumbled brown sugar and a drizzle of honey.
Put the rib pouches back on your BBQ and keep the temperature about the same as the Smoke stage. They are going to hang out there for about 2 more hours, so sit back and crack a cold one.
After about 2 hours wrapped, remove the pouches from your BBQ and adjust the temp up to about 250. Carefully unwrap the ribs (there will be steam) and place them on a cutting board. Apply a coat of your favorite sauce and get the ribs back on the BBQ. This last phase is really to just let the sauce set and start to get a bit tacky. This can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. Keep an eye on them, and when the sauce coat looks more solid and sticky, they’re done.
How to Cook Tender, Juicy Baby Backs
The longer they cook, the better they get, but you have to know when to quit. Don’t try to guess at how the ribs are doing. Don’t depend on the clock to tell you when they’re done. Precisely monitor internal meat temperature with your probe and wireless thermometer setup.
- Step 1. Preheat the smoker or grill to 225 degrees Fahrenheit while you prep the ribs. A dual probe thermometer gives you a much more accurate equipment temperature readout than a built-in smoker or grill thermometers.
- Step 2. Peel off the thin membrane that covers the baby backs, and wet them with a light coat of olive oil or honey. You can use apple cider vinegar or Worcestershire sauce too. Finish prep by coating the ribs with a dry rub.
- Step 3. Place the meat probe needle between rib bones or in the thickest part of the meat, but don’t let it touch the bone. Cook the baby backs for about three hours to an internal temperature of 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 4. Remove the ribs, take out the probe, and wrap the meat tightly in foil. Reinsert the probe, and give the baby backs another two hours to become tender. Make sure their temperature stays around 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 5. Remove the ribs and probe, unwrap the package, and give the baby backs a good mopping with your favorite glaze or barbecue sauce. Replace the probe, and let the ribs cook for about an hour to a final temperature between 190 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Step 6. Let the ribs cool just a little before slicing and enjoying. It allows them to retain their juices, and it lets that beautiful, smoky barbecue bark set up. Congratulate yourself because you’ve just cooked up perfect baby backs.
How to make fall off the bone ribs:
First, start with about 4 racks of Baby Back Ribs. I have tried this recipe with other types of ribs but baby back ribs are the most tender I find and get the best result. If using back ribs allow the cooking time in the oven to be another 45 minutes.
I like to cut the racks in half for three reasons:
- They are easier to handle on the BBQ
- Half racks are easier to serve and portion out
- Smaller pieces fit better in a large foil tray and don’t hang over the edges so you can cover properly with foil later
Next, you need to make the BBQ Ribs Dry Rub. The pic shows a bottle of the BBQ sauce but this is for later when you go to grill them. For now you just need to add all of the ingredients but the barbecue sauce to a medium bowl and mix until well blended.
Once you have the spices all blended up use you hands to gently rub the ribs all over, front and back, with the rub.
Once this is done cover the ribs with foil tightly and let marinate in the dry rub overnight or for at least 8 hours. I like to do this the night before and let them sit overnight so they are ready to put in the oven early afternoon.
These ribs take about 4-5 hours to cook so prepare them the night before.
If you are having them for dinner I recommend getting them in the oven for about noon or 1 o’clock at the latest. Preheat the oven to 275 F and keep covered with foil.
Once the oven is heated place the ribs in the oven and let cook on low heat for 4 hours or until they are fall off the bone tender.
Once they are done baking in the oven remove them and then place them on a barbecue grill that has been heated to medium heat.
Now is the time to add the sauce!
You can add any sauce you like but our absolute favourite is Baby Ray’s. A little sweet and smokey! You will want to quickly brush the ribs with a good amount of sauce so make sure you have a full bottle ready.
I like to put the barbecue sauce in a bowl and use a basting brush to coat the ribs in sauce. You need to move fast because barbecue sauce has quite a bit of sugar in it and if you take too long the sauce will burn or char before you have finished basting the other ribs.
As soon as you have basted one side, flip them over and baste the other side. The goal isn’t to cook the ribs because that was taken care of in the oven. At this point, you really only want to heat up and caramelize the barbecue sauce a bit before serving.
Then just remove the ribs to a clean tray or platter and serve!
Classic Baby Back Ribs
It's hard to beat this classic take on a backyard barbecue favorite.
Classic Baby Back Ribs
By Jamie Purviance
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons paprika
4 teaspoons granulated garlic
4 teaspoons pure chile powder
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
4 racks baby back ribs, each about 2 pounds
¾ cup unsweetened apple juice
½ cup ketchup
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon molasses
½ teaspoon pure chile powder
½ teaspoon granulated garlic
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup unsweetened apple juice
3 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons barbecue sauce (from above)
1. In a small bowl mix the rub ingredients.
2. Using a dull knife, slide the tip under the membrane covering the back of each rack of ribs. Lift and loosen the membrane until it breaks, then grab a corner of it with a paper towel and pull it off. Season the racks all over, putting more of the rub on the meaty sides than the bone sides. Arrange the racks in a rib rack, with all the racks facing the same direction. Allow the racks to stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes, or until the surface looks moist, before grilling.
3. Fill a chimney starter to the rim with charcoal and burn the charcoal until it is lightly covered with ash. Spread the charcoal in a tightly packed, single layer across one-third of the charcoal grate. Place a large disposable drip pan on the empty side of the charcoal grate. Fill the pan about halfway with warm water. Let the coals burn down to low heat (250° to 300°F). Leave all the vents open.
4. When the fire has burned down to low heat, add two hickory wood chunks to the charcoal. Put the cooking grate in place. Place the rib rack over indirect low heat (over the drip pan) as far from the coals as possible, with the bone sides facing toward the charcoal. Close the lid. Close the top vent about halfway. Let the racks cook for 1 hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vent. Meanwhile, make the sauce and the mop.
5. In a small saucepan mix the barbecue sauce ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.
6. In another small saucepan mix the mop ingredients. Simmer for a few minutes over medium heat to melt the butter, and then remove the saucepan from the heat.
7. After the first hour of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes and the remaining two wood chunks to the fire. At the same time, lightly baste the racks with some of the mop. Leaving the lid off for a few minutes while you baste the ribs will help the new briquettes to light. Close the lid and cook for another hour. During that time, maintain the temperature of the grill between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vent.
8. After 2 hours of cooking, add 8 to 10 unlit charcoal briquettes to the fire. Remove the racks from the rib rack, spread them out on clean work area, and baste them thoroughly with some mop. Put them back in the rib rack, again all facing the same direction, but this time turned over so that the ends facing down earlier are now facing up. Also position any racks that appear to be cooking faster than others toward the back of the rib rack, farthest from the charcoal. Let the ribs cook for a third hour. During that time, maintain the temperature between 250° to 300°F by opening and closing the top vent.
9. After 3 hours of cooking, check if any rack is ready to come off the grill. They are done when the meat has shrunk back from most of the bones by ¼ inch or more. When you lift a rack by picking up one end with tongs, bone side up, the rack should bend in the middle and the meat should tear easily. If the meat does not tear easily, continue to cook the racks. The total cooking time could be anywhere between 3 to 4 hours. Not all racks will cook in same amount of time. Lightly brush the cooked racks with some sauce and, if desired for crispiness, cook them over direct heat for a few minutes. Transfer to a sheet pan and tightly cover with aluminum foil. Let rest for 10 to 15 minutes before serving. Serve warm with the remaining sauce on the side.
©2007 Weber-Stephen Products Co. Recipe from Weber’s Charcoal Grilling&trade by Jamie Purviance. Used with permission.
9 Slabs of Baby Back Ribs on the PBC
Let's see how many baby back rib racks we can cook at once on the PBC! Who said you need a larger smoker to feed a crowd?
You Will Need
This is, in all fairness, a borderline competition ribs recipe: it requires minimum prep, cooks fast, and you end up with delicious ribs.
So, let's get started! Pull the membrane off the bone side, pat the meat dry with a paper towel, and season. We went with a coat of Dirty Bird, followed by a second layer of Killer Bee Chipotle for some extra spice (but you can use anything you like!).
Next, time to hook 'em! The racks will be hanging on the barrel cooker, and to make sure the hooks don't pull the racks apart when the meat gets tender, pierce underneath the second or third bone.
Time to hang some ribs! Once your barrel cooker is hot, simply suspend the baby backs from the rebar above the heat source. A couple of chunks of pecan wood will give you all the smoky flavor you need.
You don't need to do much after this - check at the one-hour mark and every half an hour after that. Keep an eye on the charcoal and refill if/when necessary.
The entire cook should take about 3 hours, give or take. You will know the ribs are done when the meat starts pulling back from the bones - when you can see about 1/2 inch of bone, you should be good to go.
Another way to know they are ready to eat is when you can twist a bone and remove it with little to no effort.
Once the baby back ribs are off the smoker, there's only one step left: sauce them up! We glazed half of them with a honey jalapeño sauce, and the rest with a cherry habanero sauce. You can put the ribs back on the cooker for 5-10 minutes if you want, or just let the sauce set on them at room temperature.
And that's all there is to it! No wrapping, no fancy technique, just good, backyard cooking for you and your loved ones.
Oven-Baking Baby Back Ribs – FAQs
In this recipe, we cook baby back ribs in the oven at 275 degrees F for 2-3 hours. The biggest decider of how long they must cook at this temperature is the size of the rack of ribs. A rack that is on the small side will likely take around 2 hours, while a larger rack will take up to 3 hours.
Yes, it’s always best to cover the ribs when cooking in the oven, to keep them from drying out. Making a packet out of tin foil and cooking the ribs in the packet will produce perfect ribs every time.
You will know it’s done when the meat has pulled back significantly from the bone and the bone easily pulls free from the meat when tugged.
Yes, ribs will become more tender the longer they cook, but there is also a point where they will stop becoming tender and will dry out.
If you’re looking for the most tender meat without drying, check the meat every 10 minutes near the end of cooking, by tugging on the bone to see how easily it comes away from the meat. Eventually it will fall right off the bone. After that point, the meat will begin drying out.
The bony side of the ribs should always be cooking facing down the meaty side facing up. This keeps the meat from directly touching the pan, which would dry it out as it cooks.
What to Serve With Baby Back Ribs
Looking for a side dish to serve with these ribs? Why not try one of these: